Reps to Probe Schools Charging Fees in Dollar

March 15, 2017
Reps to Probe Schools Charging Fees in Dollar

Reps to Probe Schools Charging Fees in Dollar

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Schools operating in Nigeria, but charging fees in foreign currencies may be in for a big trouble if the move by the House of Representative is anything to take seriously.

This is because the lower chamber of the National Assembly has vowed to investigate educational institutions charging fees in foreign currencies despite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) making it illegal.

On April 17, 2015, the CBN, in a bid to reform the currency regulations, issued a circular stating that it was illegal to price or denominate the cost of any product or service (visible or invisible) in any foreign currency in Nigeria other than the Naira.

This it said was in pursuant to Sections 15, 20(1) and (5) of the CBN Act.

But despite this, some schools operating in Nigeria still collect fees in foreign currencies, especially in the United States Dollar.

Worried by this, a lawmaker from Ekiti State, Mr Kehinde Agboola, moved a motion that something must be done to stop the illegality.

Mr Agboola alleged that American International School, Abuja (AISA) and others in Nigeria were charging school fees in Dollar.

“Even when the AISA is inclined to collect the fees in Naira, it disregards the extant financial regulations and can accept the Naira only on the parallel market rate and on the prevailing rate for the day.

“It is however of concern that the use of the parallel market rate to determine the amount of fees to be collected in Naira entails that parents pay school fees at different rates, depending on the rate in the black market, and at such, parents of children in the same class end up paying different fees for their wards, depending on the day the payment was made.

“Furthermore, the insistence on collecting fees on the prevailing black market rate amounts to a malicious rip off that the AISA and other International Schools have been perpetrating on hapless Nigerians.

“Cognizance must however be taken of the fact that all efforts by parents to make the school authorities to standardize the payment in Naira have been rebuffed and if the practice is not squarely addressed, may embolden other business outfits to adopt the same practice of denominating their goods and services in foreign currencies, contrary to the laws of the land,” the lawmaker said on the floor of the House.

After deliberations on the matter, the House of Reps directed its committee on Basic Education and Services to look into it and submit its within four weeks for further legislative action.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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